The Instigator
APHDebator
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
zeromeansnothing
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

The United States is a Christian Nation

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
zeromeansnothing
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 weeks ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 253 times Debate No: 97206
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

APHDebator

Con

The United States: is it a Christian nation? I would like to believe that this is not the case, and historically, there is a vast vein of evidence that proves that the United States was, from the very beginning founded on Secular beliefs.

Sorry for re-doing this debate, trolls who accept the debate, make one/no argument and then fail to respond irritate my debating experiences. Please only accept if you will make it through all 4 rounds.

Round 1 is acceptance/laying down what Pro will prove. Round 2 are arguments made. Round 3 is rebuttals. Round 4 are final rebuttals and a summary of points made.
zeromeansnothing

Pro

I will take this on with relish. This will not be the debate to end all debates so why pretend that it is. Let's just kick the idea around a bit and you see if a young person is able for an old debate veteran like myself.

I will prove that America has just elected a Christian President. That's after having a pseudo-christian leader before him. How many American presidents were not Christian. Your homework for today.
Christianity is embedded in every facet of American life and it has always been so, ie its currency, its constitution. etc etc. You just elected a President who stated that he would close his doors to Muslims. How does that pan out?
Your country tolerates Christian nonsense throughout its land and supports same, look at the Mormons for example. There are deep historical factors at play in your question and the only way that you will gain ground in this debate is to show that America is not a Christian Nation, good luck with that. America is not the same as France when it comes to religion and it's ambiguities are everywhere for all to see. Just Give up before you start. Even your red-neck hunting and shooting nationalists are predominately republican bible belt die hards.

ps:from wik 'No president thus far has been openly an atheist.' No Jews and no Muslims Q.E.D. (No woman either, how Christian do you want to be) Check this against France
Debate Round No. 1
APHDebator

Con

Pro needs to remember that this debate is heavily based on how America was FOUNDED. Whilst modern American religious views are important, it is how the country was intended, from foundation, that really matters.

Firstly, the US Constitution, the ruling document of the United States, makes no direct mention to the Christian religion. Strange how, for a Christian nation, to fail to mention this religion in a very important manner is very confusing... unless it wasn't. (1) (3)

The Declaration of Independence DOES not mention 'God','Creator' and Providence', but this is not exclusive to the Christian religion, nor was the Declaration of Independence used to govern. (2)

Article 6 of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights states, "...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." This only serves to SEPARATE a need for religion to hold public office, meaning that, while it is true all US presidents were and are somehow related to the Christian religion, this was only decided by the American public. If not for religious bias, an atheist could also hold public office.

'In God We Trust' was not added to American coins by the founding fathers: that was done in 1863 during a surge in religious fervor as a result of the US Civil War.

'In God We Trust' was not added to American paper money by the founding fathers: that was done in 1957, passed by Congress.

'Under One God' was not added by the founding fathers, it was added in 1954, once again passed by Congress.

The latter two were added by Congress as the NATO were making a statement against the "godlessness of Communism"

This fuelled when the American government added a national day of prayer and replaced 'E Pluribus Unum' with 'In God We Trust'.

Contrary to popular belief, most founding fathers were either deist or ambivalent to the Christian God. Founding fathers who fell under this category include: Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Paine, John Adams and even George Washington.

Thomas Jefferson, a deist, rejected key Christian concepts such as The Trinity, The Virgin Birth, The Divinity of Christ, The Resurrection and Original Sin.

As the nail in the coffin, John Adams stated, in the Treaty of Tripoli signed into law on June 10, 1797 that, "The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." (8)

So if the founding fathers:
- were not necessarily Christian
- excluded God from the Constitution
- excluded Christianity from the Pledge of Allegiance
- excluded God from the American currency
- made sure no religious requirements are neederd to hold public office
and
- declared the US as non-religious

It is clear that the US is a SECULAR, not Christian nation.

(1) http://www.usconstitution.net...
(2) https://allthingsliberty.com...
(3) http://www.opposingviews.com...
(4) http://wiki.ironchariots.org...
(5) http://www.smithsonianmag.com...
(6) http://www.alternet.org...
(7) http://www.salon.com...
(8) http://www.nobeliefs.com...
(9) http://www.christianpost.com...
(10) http://atheism.about.com...
(11) http://rationalwiki.org...
(12) http://www.nytimes.com...
(13) http://www.treasury.gov...
(14) https://www.youtube.com...
zeromeansnothing

Pro

A nice argument and well researched even if it is totally disingenuous. Take this bit..............'Thomas Jefferson, a deist, rejected key Christian concepts such as The Trinity, The Virgin Birth, The Divinity of Christ, The Resurrection and Original Sin.'

Thomas Jefferson was influenced by Locke of whom he said

from Wik

Such was Locke's influence that Thomas Jefferson wrote: "Bacon, Locke and Newton... I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical and Moral sciences"

Later we are told that Locke......................

With regard to the Bible Locke was very conservative. He retained the doctrine of the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures.[23] The miracles were proofs of the divine nature of the biblical message. Locke was convinced that the entire content of the Bible was in agreement with human reason (The reasonableness of Christianity, 1695).[54][23] Although Locke was an advocate of tolerance, he urged the authorities not to tolerate atheism, because he thought the denial of God's existence would undermine the social order and lead to chaos.[55] That excluded all atheistic varieties of philosophy and all attempts to deduce ethics and natural law from purely secular premises, for example, man's "autonomy or dignity or human flourishing".[56] In Locke's opinion the cosmological argument was valid and proved God's existence. His political thought was based on "a particular set of Protestant Christian assumptions."[56][57]

Locke's concept of man started with the belief in creation. We have been "sent into the World by [God's] order, and about his business, [we] are his Property, whose Workmanship [we] are, made to last during his, not one anothers Pleasure."[58] Like the two other very influential natural-law philosophers, Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf, Locke equated natural law with the biblical revelation, since in their view both had originated in God and could therefore not contradict each other.

There you have it. This is the bedrock of your constitution, ie it is logic based on an assumption. In the early colonial times the concept of 'rationalism' that you attribute to early 'fathers' was mostly a rejection of English Religous Powers within its monarchy. Indians were displaced and exterminated under God's law and only for the fact that slaves converted to christianity they would probably be still carrying water today. Religion did not need to be emphazised as it was taken as a given.

Now here is the reverse of you argument. Tell me when these religious 'givens' were removed from the early fathers interpretations of what a Federation of States should be. The right to free speech that is abused by many of the hate preachers of Babtist sects today is merely the same right to impose that Hitler enjoyed in Germany between the two World Wars. They are banned from most European Countries because of the potential within their doctrines which is a lesson learned from the past. How can a President today suggest that Muslims, the second largest religion on the planet be denied entry into the worlds largest exponent of democratic thought. Have no doubt about it, the US is christian and always had been. It's foreign policy is the doctrine of brinkmanship and Armageddon and all you have to do is look at things like the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam for that. Now its an anti Muslim Crusade. That's what happens when you run out of Indians.

Right is might

Debate Round No. 2
APHDebator

Con

Pro, you have posted an argument in comments, please repost that in the actual debate, or your argument will be disregards. I was also re-reading your statements from Round 1. Please understand I am NOT an American, I simply have interest in the nation.

Whilst Pro is right in stating that America led a very conservative beginning in some respects, with a couple of statements on a large influence of Locke, Pro is wrong if he said that my statements in Round 2 weren't important in determining the state of American theology.

Yes, it is a given that many of the New World's atrocities were done in the name of the Christian God, but I'd like to make an argument that Jefferson was anticlerical:

"Jefferson was firmly anticlerical, writing in "every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty " they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon."[269] The full letter to Horatio Spatford can be read at the National Archives.[270] Jefferson once supported banning clergy from public office but later relented.[271] In 1777, he drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Ratified in 1786, it made compelling attendance or contributions to any state-sanctioned religious establishment illegal and declared that men "shall be free to profess " their opinions in matters of religion."[272] The Statute is one of only three accomplishments he chose to have inscribed in the epitaph on his gravestone.[273][274] Early in 1802, Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Connecticut Baptist Association, "that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God." He interpreted the First Amendment as having built "a wall of separation between Church and State."[275] The phrase 'Separation of Church and State' has been cited several times by the Supreme Court in its interpretation of the Establishment Clause." (1)

Thus, Jefferson, described as the Principal Author of the US Constitution, once again reiterated as the governing document of the United States, was largely deist and AGAINST increasing the power of the clergy, making Pro's citings of Locke, irrelevant of how important Jefferson found on a moral and physical scale, irrelevant on a theological scale. Yes, that means that Jefferson would believe in the Creation Story and in following the moral ethics set out by the New Testament and Jesus, but that disregards the heavily theist beliefs of Locke.

Furthermore, more evidence comes from the same Wikipedia entry, where it is stated, "Jefferson's unorthodox religious beliefs became an important issue in the 1800 presidential election.[280] Federalists attacked him as an atheist." (1)

To be attacked by federalists and labelled as an atheist, and have your unorthodox religious beliefs scrutinised in an election to HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE proves that it is a big deal that Jefferson clearly ignored Locke's religious beliefs.

Pro puts the question, "Tell me when these religious 'givens' were removed from the early fathers interpretations of what a Federation of States should be."

"A 2001 survey directed by Dr. Ariela Keysar for the City University of New York indicated that, amongst the more than 100 categories of response, "no religious identification" had the greatest increase in population in both absolute and percentage terms. This category included atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others with no stated religious preferences. Figures are up from 14.3 million in 1990 to 34.2 million in 2008, representing an increase from 8% of the total population in 1990 to 15% in 2008.[37] A nationwide Pew Research study published in 2008 put the figure of unaffiliated persons at 16.1%,[72] while another Pew study published in 2012 was described as placing the proportion at about 20% overall and roughly 33% for the 18"29-year-old demographic.[82]" (2)

That survey proves the rise in no religious ID, and the rise from 14.3 million to 34.2 million in 18 years proves rising numbers.
zeromeansnothing

Pro

The hate speech laws in France are matters of both civil law and criminal law. Those laws protect individuals and groups from being defamed or insulted because they belong or do not belong, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, a sex, or a sexual orientation, or because they have a handicap. The laws forbid any communication which is intended to incite discrimination against, hatred of, or harm to, anyone because of his belonging or not belonging, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, a sex, or a sexual orientation, or because he or she has a handicap.......from Wik


Why can the US not do this?

I thank my opponent for their argument and there is a breeze of naivety that I could float on that would almost make their argument true. However, in the cold light of day a country must be judged by its actions. Trump is affiliated with a very conservative branch of Christianity. America fights with Muslim countries and Atheistic countries. Why? Trump does not care about the implications of Global Warming. Why? Christians spend their lives waiting for the end, it is endemic within their mindset and this is an attribute of Trump Voters in 2016. I have nothing against a Christian Democracy in so far as it could be worse but you have a long way to go before you become a secular France which is where democracy really exists.

The Bible is America's Constitution, God has made man in his Likeness and his Laws shall reign supreme over us. This is the crutch that keeps the Absurdities of Inequality and Waste with the US sustainable. The Christian soldiers of the US lead the vanguard against an invisible enemy that now is Muslim extremism, but which might easily morph into secular rationalism tomorrow. Try taking guns off these Christians, try stopping the production of armaments in US factories. Why would a secular society do these things in the name of God. They wouldn't.
Obama used more Christian euphemisms than I can possibly recall and it was regarded as normal.

"My faith is a great source of comfort to me. I've said before that my faith has grown as President. This office tends to make a person pray more; and as President Lincoln once said, 'I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.'" Obama

At least now we know who is 'pulling the strings'.
Debate Round No. 3
APHDebator

Con

Pro has painted a picture of a United States which is as far right as one could go. But this is not true, as, in my last statement, secularism is growing.

On June 26, 2015, the US legalised same sex marriage in all 50 states, excluding territory native to the American Indians. But this was the first time same sex marriage was shown support, a truly anti-Christian value.

On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts legalised same sex marriage. In June 2013 the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that federal law could not treat as unequal, marriages that individual States had created as equally valid, when it overturned a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), thus forcing federal recognition of same-sex marriage and marriage-related benefits when related to a same-sex marriage performed by a state that sanctioned such marriages. (1)

If this is the case for a truly Christian nation, how could one define it as Christian?

Consider abortion, a subject that many pro-life supporters take as a religious value.

(2) presents a map of the United States, before the Roe vs. Wade case which eventually legalised abortion.

(3) presents a map of the infamous Bible Belt, described as a utopia for extremely conservative Christians and right wing beliefs.

Once again, the evidence does NOT correlate to the right wing Conservatives being extremely conservative, as only 1-2 counties where abortion is 100% illegal are actually based in the Bible Belt. The majority are open minded to the idea of abortion given the risk of the woman's health, rape or in the event of a likely damaged fetus.

To sum up my argument:

From a historical viewpoint, the founding fathers attempted to create a secular nation in the United States. From US currency, to the US Constitution, to the Pledge of Allegiance and even direct quotes from John Adams, the founding fathers intended 100% for a secular America.

It is no doubt that the US has held a truly conservative Christian history, but recent developments in policies which have gone against true Christian beliefs highlights the progression of Americans from conservatives to moderates or even liberals.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pro for this debate, a great learning curve for me, and I wish Pro luck in the result of this and his future debates. Vote Con!

(1) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

(2) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

(3) https://www.google.com.au...

(4) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

Sources from last statement:
(1) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

(2) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
zeromeansnothing

Pro


I enjoyed this debate, which was civil and informed and I thank my opponent for their contribution.

Let me just explain a basic fact here. The growth of liberalism, is not an indication of a non-Christian nation. Christianity has become totally schismatic and to a large extent 'incomprehensible'. America's commercialism and decadence was never truly Christian in any shape or form. It was a directionless pursuit of a mirage. Most secular rationalists might object to abortion as a social solution to uncontrolled procreation. Many might object to same sex partnerships. These issues were never religious ones but they have been dealt with within US law as being just that, and that is the point.

Let us go back to the start again...........

From Wik:
In 1776 the Second Continental Congress asked Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman to write the Declaration of Independence. This Committee of Five voted to have Thomas Jefferson write the document. After Jefferson finished he gave the document to Franklin to proof. Franklin suggested minor changes, and one of them stands out far more than the others. Jefferson had written,"We hold these truths to be sacred and un-deniable..." Franklin changed it to, "We hold these truths to be self-evident."The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence starts as follows:We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.


Very interesting stuff but regardless of the final considerations the draft results in enshrining a Christian Genesis logic to the whole undertaking.This presumes that man was made and was given rights (free will) ,when he was made. He therefore has similar rights to all his fellows, ie he should be allowed to exist freely to pursue an individualistic path without interference. This is a declaration of independence from previously experienced oppressions such as monarchy, feudalism and class slavery which had been propped up by the dubious dogma of the corrupt churches of the Old World, in particular the Papacy and the Church of England.

These deductions would appear to a secular rationalist as absurd.
Rationally, man is part of evolutionary life on earth and as such he shares communal connections with all aspects of that life.
This would rationally suggest a particular responsibility on man in general regarding the preservation and care of our world as it exists. It would never suggest exclusivity to rights for the human or for the individual that were uniquely theirs and distinguishable from the logical needs of their social grouping, and from the observed implications of that grouping's wider context within all life.

In truth a secular rationalist would most likely exclude the notion of an individual legitamacy to do anything at all.
There would therefore be no rights but rather the parameters of allowable action tethered between agreed societal and environmental responsibilities and based on wider logical considerations made about our existence in general.

This is not a reality that has ever existed within our societies and when we allow for this fact we accept that the US religious botch is what it is, ie a form of Disney.

Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Nanubot 2 weeks ago
Nanubot
America was born a Christian nation. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.
Posted by APHDebator 2 weeks ago
APHDebator
My sources did not fit the word limit, here they are, i will also re post in the next round:

(1) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
(2) https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
Posted by zeromeansnothing 2 weeks ago
zeromeansnothing
Sir Edward Coke was the preeminent jurist of his time.[62] Coke's preeminence extended across the ocean: "For the American revolutionary leaders, 'law' meant Sir Edward Coke's custom and right reason."[63] [64] Coke defined law as "perfect reason, which commands those things that are proper and necessary and which prohibits contrary things."[65] For Coke, human nature determined the purpose of law; and law was superior to any one man's reason or will.[66] Coke's discussion of natural law appears in his report of Calvin's Case (1608): "The law of nature is that which God at the time of creation of the nature of man infused into his heart, for his preservation and direction."
Posted by levi_smiles 2 weeks ago
levi_smiles
I don't meet instigator's criteria, otherwise I'd accept this challenge.
Posted by FocusV 2 weeks ago
FocusV
I agree that the US is not a Christian nation, but the US was founded on the notion that the government cannot interfere with religion and vice versa. The US was not founded on secular beliefs, but that the government should remain secular.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheLight954 1 week ago
TheLight954
APHDebatorzeromeansnothingTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
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Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used direct quotes, while Con used completely unreliable sources. Pro had better grammar, both people had okay conduct, and both sides argued pretty well.